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WNV Mosquitoes Test Positive

Risk of WNV Increasing in SCHR - Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus in Sun Country Health Region

Sun Country’s Medical Health Officer, Dr. Shauna Hudson wants to remind Sun Country Health Region residents to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites while enjoying this long weekend. This week, one of the mosquito pools from Sun Country Health Region has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).

As well, the number of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes in our traps in Estevan have been increasing. Manitoba has also reported seven (7) mosquito pools that are positive for West Nile Virus in the southwest part of Manitoba.

While the risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus is much lower this summer than in 2007, the risk in southern Saskatchewan is increasing.

Thunderstorm activity over the last several weeks has produced abundant habitat for mosquitoes.

If southern Saskatchewan experiences a string of warm days and nights, the risk of WNV will be increasing in the first couple of weeks of August as more Culex tarsalis mosquitoes become infected with WNV.

In one trap, the species of mosquitoes that carries the West Nile Virus (WNV) accounted for 44% of all the mosquitoes found in the trap.

All people in the Region need to take personal precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in the places where they live, work and play - even during low risk periods.

Dr. Hudson says "The most important thing is to avoid all mosquito bites, but particularly at dusk and dawn when the mosquitoes that carry WNV are most active."

“These mosquitoes often go unnoticed because they bite around the ankles and their bite isn’t as annoying as many of the nuisance mosquitoes.” 

FOLLOW THE FIVE D's

  1. Wear a good insect repellant with DEET. Apply according to directions.
  2. DRAIN standing water. Eliminate or reduce all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs. Reduce places in your yard where adult mosquitoes can thrive.
  3. Avoid going out during DUSK and DAWN. The mosquitoes that carry WNV are most active, at dusk and dawn. They are especially active for two hours after sunset.
  4. DRESS appropriately. Wear long sleeves and long pants.
  5. Mosquito-proof your home. Make sure that DOORS and windows have tight fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes. 

For more information on WNV, go to the Saskatchewan Government website at www.health.gov.sk.ca/west-nile-virus.

Media:  Please contact Dr. Shauna Hudson, Sun Country Health Region Medical Health Officer at (306) 537-5722.

 

 

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